Heifer volunteer Donna Sosnowski (2nd from left) presenting the Golden Talent Award to an Armenian Family while on a recent Heifer Study Tour.
DonnaSosnowski has been a dedicated Heifer volunteer for seven years. As an educator she has found Heifer’sresources to be an invaluable tool in her classroom, especially the “inspiring”Read to Feed program. Last year herschool’s first grade students raised enough money to buy a goat and two flocksof chickens just by having book sales during recesses. In addition, Donna had the initiative towrite several articles for the district-wide teacher newsletter, sharingHeifer’s educator resources with her colleagues.
During herfirst five years as a volunteer she spread Heifer’s message through booths atEarth Day, Peace Day, Make a Difference Day at the University of Nevada, andthe Nevada Reading Week Conference. This year she has the opportunity to be aReading Week Conference presenter and teach teachers how Heifer can make adifference in their classrooms.
Two years agothe Heifer Reno Group was established with Donne serving as the Area VolunteerCoordinator. The group has been very action-oriented. Some highlighted activities are working withschools, gift wrapping at Barnes and Noble and Borders book stores during theholiday seasons, and crocheting hats, scarves, blankets, and pot holders tosell for donations. They have also madecontacts to work with the University of Nevada, the Food Coop, and libraries.
One ofDonna’s favorite fund-raisers was held last year, when an enthusiastic highschool student arranged for her school to have a Heifer Day. For several months leading up to the serviceproject event, classes made Cornerstone posters, collected donations, andlearned about Heifer. On the big day, the 600 students hauled water bucketsaround the football field to simulate people who get their water daily fromstreams, and for lunch they drank water and ate only rice with their hands. Thegym resonated with energizing excitement as the students did the wave ofstanding up and down while shouting Heifer’s mission statement to conclude thepresentations. A nursery donated a tree to be planted as a symbol of plantingseeds of hope and a way to remember and honor that special day. As the PromiseTree grows, the student’s knowledge, compassion, inspiration, and action willgrow too.
Donna isespecially grateful for the opportunity to attend both the Educators Study Tourto Honduras in 2008 and the AVC Study Tour to Armenia this past November. Of her study tour experiences Donna says, “Toobserve the countless successes Heifer has accomplished to improve the healthand income of so many families was enlightening. To feel the love and warmth ofthe people who participate in community projects bonded us together in ourworldwide Heifer family . . . they reinforced my beliefs that mankind is one,and we all are connected with our hearts no matter what country we live in onthis one planet we share . . . There is an urgency and necessity to help thisailing world with Heifer’s remedy to end world hunger and poverty and to carefor the Earth”